Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy birthday Mara! Recipe: Banana Pineapple Cake

I cannot believe my little Mara has turned two years old already! We celebrated her birthday last Friday. It has been such an eventful two years, filled with doctor visits, specialists, and lots of yucky testing. I have such hope for this coming year, as my baby is now thriving and moving on with her life.

I was determined to make my child a delicious birthday cake. I will admit to last year just making a cake using a recipe I had found that worked and not putting too much thought into it. The cake was OK, but I wanted her cake this year to be GREAT! Doesn't every child deserve that?

Mara is not much of a cake and cookie eater. She loves the Enjoy Life snickerdoodle cookies, and the banana muffins that I had made for her. I was tempted to make a carrot cake for her, but decided to go with something that had banana since it is something I know she loves.

I have recently bought two new glutenfree cookbooks in hopes to learn how to bake using all the different glutenfree flours that are out there. You really need to use a combination of them, and deciphering the exact measurements of each has been my downfall. So , I bought these cookbooks, and figured I could find ways to modify the dairy and soy.

To make a long story short, I found a recipe for a Banana Pineapple Cake in "The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods" by Bette Hagman. This recipe does not contain dairy or soy in the original recipe, so I was sold! The only issue I had was that it called for teff flour, and potato flour, neither of which we had and my poor husband drove to three different natural food stores last week and couldn't find it. So I had to improvise. I have found places to order it online, so next time I make it I will try using the suggested flours and let you
know the difference! For the recipe below, I am giving the flours we used this time.

Here is the cake. She wanted a puppy dog and as you can see, I am not gifted in cake decorating. But it made her happy, so that is all that should matter :)

I used some all natural sprinkles on the ears, an Enjoy Life cookie for the nose and Enjoy Life chocolate chips for outlining. I also used a Kettle Valley fruit snack for the tongue.

The cake was so good! Mara loved it, my husband loved it...even my inlaws loved it when they came over Sunday. The pineapple makes it really moist. I highly recommend trying it! If you can use wheat flour, go ahead, but reduce the amount of baking powder to one tsp and omit the zanthan gum.



  • 1 cup Millet Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp Egg Replacer
  • 1 tsp gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups diced bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional- we did not add this)
  • one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
(These instruction are pretty much the same as the book!) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 8" round cake pans with wax or parchment paper and grease, or grease a 9 x 13 oblong cake pan.

In a bowl, first combine the brown rice flour, potato starch flour and tapioca flour. Add the millet flour and whisk in the following: xanthan gum, Egg Replacer, gelatin, baking soda, baking powder, salt and apple pie spice.

In a mixing bowl, beat the oil and sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients but do not beat it to hard. Stir in the bananas, pecans, and pineapple with juice until well blended.

Spoon into your prepared pans. Bake round cake pans for about 25 minutes, or the oblong pan for 40-45 minutes (or until tester comes out clean).


I found a recipe for "Royal Frosting" here. I added some vanilla extract towards the end. It was really good!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup boiling water

  1. Mix all ingredients together, adding boiling water last.
  2. Beat on high for 6-10 minutes until frosting forms peaks.


Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

I love that picture of Mara! Sweet pig tails!!

And give yourself some credit on the dog cake - you did a great job on the decorating!!!

InspiredMumof2 said...

Wow, thats a lovely cake you've baked! Happy Birthday to Mara too! She must be happy to have a cute doggy cake for birthday. Here's wishing her good health, and that she can eat anything soon. And well done, mummy! :-)

tiny morsels said...

Awww! Happy Birthday Mara! She's so adorable. And your cake looks AWESOME!

Julie B said...

thanks guys! Your all so sweet :)

We are celebrating her birthday next weekend so I get the opportunity to make her another cake...haven't decided if I am going to do the same thing or try something else. I did order some teff flour in order to see what the difference is.

My oldest is sick right now, so hopefully I will be able to post soon. I have so any recipes to post! Have a great weekend!

Audrey said...

Wow, what a great recipe. I'm sending your link to a friend with an infant diagnosed with many allergies. Thanks!!!

Julie B said...

Hi Audrey, thanks for stopping by and I would love for you to send your friend a link. Multiple food issues can be tough-its great to be in touch with others who are going through it!

mom24 said...

What a beautiful girl (and the cake looks great too)! I am soooo glad that I found your site thru Boys Rule My Life since I am struggling w/ a multitude of food allergies w/ my 5 AND 2-yr old. We gt them both blood tested for IgG and IgA antibodies and have them on not just an elimination diet but also a 4-day rotation of the allowable foods. It seriously took hours to plan a spreadsheet for them!
I would like to have something nice for Rachel to eat at her birthday in March - I was worried about that since my attempts at muffins have been edible but blah. The pineapple cake doesn't fit the rotation diet perfectly but doesn't have any of our allergens in it so I'll try it!
Can't wait to drop by again when I have time to read more!

Julie B said...

Mama24-thanks for stopping by and I hope I can help. I have a friend who is currently only eating 4 safe foods that her baby will tolerate (one of the 4 is yeast) That is tough! I did elimination diets for 6 months, I can only imagine how much harder it is on your little ones.

Natalie said...

I found this recipe looking for a cake recipe for my son's two year old birthday cake. I was touched by your post. I can totally relate. What a cute cake!!!

Natalie said...

And she is just gorgeous by the way!

Merry K. said...

You are so very creative. I am always surprised every time I visit your site. You have truly risen to the challenge of food allergies and you really go for it!!
Merry K.

Julie B said...

Natalie- thank you so much! I hope you are able to use this cake for your son!

Merry K- Thanks to you as well! I am really trying to become more creative in my of my New Year's resolutions that I am trying to keep :)

Jamie said...

my son is 2 as well, with milk allergy. miraculously, he has outgrown the egg and soy. and we think outgrown peanut but haven't live tested that yet. mara is adorable.

Sophie said...

We would like to feature your cake recipe on our blog. You did a wonderful job, that puppy dog is so cute! Please email if interested. Thanks :)

You can view our blog here: